2023 Planning Setup
Each year, I recalibrate my planning setup slightly, and 2023 is no exception! This year, the notable switch is from an assortment of paper planner to digital planning on my iPad. So, what’s in my 2023 planning line-up?
Managing all of the inputs
It’s November, which is my academic corner is one of the most stressful months of the season! In this post I thought I’d tackle a topic that is becoming increasingly challenging for me, managing the sheer number of inputs in my life.
As the semester draws to a close, I’ve been working on my summer plan. I’ve always planned my summer just like any other academic semester–while the schedule, rhythm, and type of work I’m doing may be very different, in some ways I find this makes it even more important to plan. Otherwise, the promise of a wide open schedule will be filled with more things than could ever fit in it, leaving me to wonder where the summer went!
Last semester, I wrote about taking the stressful edge off of November, and in my life at least, April is November’s stressful Spring cousin! In addition to the usual almost but not quite the end of the semester exhaustion and duties, plus tax and allergy season, this April brings some extra stress with all the holidays, a time-consuming (but also long-shot) grant application, some work and dance projects coming to fruition, and two long haul dance trips (one of which is our regional qualifiers for nationals). On the bright side, April is apparently also both Scottish American and Arab American heritage month, which is a nice coincidence in my world!
Using Notion to Organize Travel
Two years ago, I wrote a post about organizing travel with Trello, and shortly thereafter, the world shut down. As I traveled the last two weekends for dance competitions, and am headed two my first in person conferences since 2020 the next two weekends, I thought this was an appropriate time to revisit travel planning! After switching to Notion I’ve been using that to organize travel, but the process is essentially the same.
Organizing Teaching with Notion
A few years ago I wrote a post on Using Trello to Organize Teaching. Since then, I’ve moved on to using Notion as my digital organization system, and so I thought it was time for an update on how I’m using that to organize my class teaching. Notably, you’ll see that while the app has changed, the system has remained the same.
2022 Planning Setup
2022 has started off on a challenging note for me in terms of pandemic childcare issues. As I pulled up to drop off my daughter the first day of school, we learned the school had to unexpectedly close for the day due to a staff shortage. She got to go back the next day, but the one after that my son’s daycare class closed for COVID exposure, and he is home for two weeks, not-so-nicely overlapping with the start of my semester. All of this, and we’re still a couple weeks out from the Omicron surge in my state.
Despite these challenges, I am enjoying one of my favorite parts of the New Year, setting up my new planners! While my basic system remains the same as last year, I’ve changed several of my tools, so I thought I’d give an update on that.
Taking the stressful edge off of November
After 22 years as a student or professor on semester systems where fall semester runs mid August to mid December, I feel pretty confident saying that November is the most stressful month in this semester, and possibly the entire academic year (April, the spring parallel month, is also a contender). Early in my career as a professor, I remember fantasizing about November/April overnight camps for academic children, where I could send my children just for these months, to make them a little less overwhelming. While the reality is that I would probably miss my kids too much to actually do this even if it existed, I have spent a lot of time thinking about how to make these months more manageable, and I wanted to share these thoughts in this post. Some of these items are easy to implement on an individual level, whereas others require long-term structural change. For me, it’s important to take this whole range into consideration, so I can get some immediate relief while also advocating for structural changes.
Staying on track with a Sunday Basket
For me, a key part of making everything work is setting up systems at home to ensure that we eat, get to bed on time, aren’t scrambling for masks or clean clothes in the morning, and are generally on track to move through the week without things falling through the cracks. The main part of this system is my Sunday Basket, an Organize 365 product that I’ve mentioned before as part of my planning system, and that I like so much I became a certified organizer for! However, I realized I’ve never really described how I use this product, so I thought I’d take some time to do that in this blog post.
What if I’m not organized enough for the Organize Your Language Teacher Life course?
For today’s blog post, as the end of the Fall enrollment for my Organize Your Language Teacher Life course approaches, I thought I’d address a response I hear over and over from language teachers about this course: “It seems like exactly what I need, but I don’t know how I will get organized enough to find the time to take it!”